No one does Christmas quite like Disney. So Disney Plus seems like the natural first stop as the weather gets colder and we start to deck the halls ahead of the holiday season, but where do you start? That's where we come in. We've combed through everything the streamer has to offer and singled out the 10 best festive movies to tune into this December.
It's wall-to-wall classics here, with everything from the Muppets to Mickey Mouse, as well as live-action gems like Home Alone and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Everything on our list is available to watch in both the US and the UK, too, so you can get cozy and Christmassy with these wholesome flicks no matter which side of the pond you're on.
And while the below list is what's available around the world, Die Hard is on Disney Plus in the UK. Might be one to check out...
The Muppet Christmas Carol
This adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic brings in the Muppets to play Bob Cratchit and co., while Michael Caine is the tightfisted Ebenezer Scrooge. He's a fairly coldhearted fellow, until he gets a wake up call thanks to visits from three Christmas Ghosts, who show him the error of his ways. The Muppet Christmas Carol is much-beloved for good reason – for a funny, heartwarming musical all about the true meaning of Christmas, there's no better movie.
The Santa Clause
Tim Allen plays Scott Calvin, who, one Christmas Eve, comes across the real Santa Claus on his roof. Unfortunately, the meeting is not a happy one – Santa ends up dead (yes, really), but since the world needs Father Christmas, Scott must take his place. After filling in for St. Nick on Christmas Eve, Scott learns that he's now Santa for real thanks to the Santa Clause technicality. He has one year to get ready, and then he's back to the North Pole. If you love The Santa Clause, all the sequels are available on Disney Plus, too.
Macaulay Culkin plays Kevin, a young child left (wait for it) home alone by his family after a mixup leaves them jetting off on holiday without him. Having a big house all to yourself is probably every kid's dream, but things are complicated by Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), two burglars with the McCallister house in their sights. They're unprepared for Kevin's ingenious way of protecting his home, though – a series of outlandish booby traps. Festive, slapstick fun (and the sequels are streaming, too).
Forget Let It Snow, it's time to Let It Go with Frozen, the modern day fairytale all about sisterhood. Elsa and Anna used to be inseparable, until Elsa's magical ice powers almost caused disaster. But after years of ice-olation Elsa's powers reveal themselves in a big way, and Anna sets off on a journey to bring her sister (and summer) home. There's enough catchy tunes and sentient snowmen to thaw even the most frozen of hearts in this film.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
This fantastical take on The Nutcracker story has a star-studded cast including Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, and Helen Mirren. In the film, Clara (Mackenzie Foy) finds herself travelling into a magical world divided into the four Realms of the title – and there, Clara has a royal birthright. She must bring peace back to the land, but all is not as it seems. For a fun few hours of Christmassy spectacle, settle in with The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Mickey's Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol truly is the quintessential Christmas tale, so it's no surprise it's on our list twice. This time, Mickey Mouse and his pals bring the story to life in that classic Disney animation style. Fittingly, Scrooge McDuck takes on the miserly role of Scrooge, with Mickey as Bob Cratchit, and Goofy as Jacob Marley. Continuing the perfect cartoon casting is Jiminy Cricket as the Ghost of Christmas Past, while Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, and other familiar faces also make appearances.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
If Halloween is your favorite time of year, then look no further than The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack Skellington stumbles into Christmas Town, and decides to bring the new season home to Halloween Town. As you might expect, mixing two polar opposite holidays doesn't go so smoothly, and soon Santa and Christmas both are in trouble. This stop motion animation comes from producer Tim Burton and director Henry Selick, with music from Danny Elfman.
Noelle Kringle (Anna Kendrick) is the daughter of Father Christmas himself, and this year, her brother Nick (Bill Hader) is stepping into Santa's shoes after their father's death. The problem is, Nick's not doing a great job in training, so Noelle convinces him to take a weekend off. But Nick doesn't come back on time, and Noelle has to set off to find him before the big day – with an adorable little reindeer along for the ride. This one's one of the newest entries on our list of the best Christmas movies on Disney Plus.
Eleanor (Jillian Bell) is a Godmother in training, but when her school is on the brink of being shut down, she ventures into the real world to help who she thinks is a young girl named Mackenzie. In fact, Mackenzie is a grown woman, played by Isla Fisher. More magical mishaps than you can shake a wand at ensue, but the stakes are high – if Eleanor can't ace her time as a fairy godmother, she'll be stripped of her powers.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
For some fantasy escapism this Christmas, there's no other choice than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In this film, the four Pevensie siblings stumble across a hidden world called Narnia, entered through the back of a wardrobe. Narnia is in the grip of the evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton), who has brought about an endless winter without Christmas. The siblings, together with Aslan the lion, must end her reign.
For even more festive fun, check out our roundup of the best Christmas movies ever.